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Human Rights Violation Hearings
Type STATEMENT, QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS, RUDOLPH PAUL DAVID LAZARO
Starting Date 27 November 1996
Location GUGULETU 7 POLLSMOOR
Thank you Chairperson, that concludes the testimony from those families who are available at this stage to have testified at this event hearing. There are two families who we have not been able to locate and ideally we would have wanted to give the opportunity to all five the families to participate in this special event hearing, although some of them have in the context of the general victim hearing, brought this particular matter to our attention.
There are the families of Zola Alfred Swelani and Themba Mlifi who both also died in this incident, whom we have not been able to locate and arrange to be here today and to participate in the event hearing. Perhaps this will come to their attention and perhaps we can just repeat the invitation for them to get in touch with the Commission and for us to take their matters on board as well.
Just to give a bit of background into why you are here. Our investigator have come up with an incredible amount of evidence and details relating to the case that came became known as the Guguletu 7. And most - a lot of their evidence, suggest - of their findings, suggests an urgent need to re-investigate the case and to establish what exactly went on, on the day that we are talking about, the 3rd of March 1986.
You have come here to help us understand the way the police evidence was paste together. You are one of the people who are going to assist us and perhaps just have to mention the context in which you will help us peace - understand how the evidence was compiled.
They found that when the inquest, at the inquest proceedings in November of 1986, the signatures that were presented as your own at the bottom of the type statement did not necessarily agree with a signature that you had on an original statement you gave on the 2nd on the 3rd of March in Mitchellís Plain. Now we want to understand how that happens and you are going to tell us a bit more about that discrepancy in those two signatures and the way in which your signature and why it was used at the inquest hearing on the Guguletu 7.
Now, could you tell us a little bit why you went to the police station on the 3rd of March and what was the nature of the statements that you left at that police station and the statement that you remember having signed. Can you tell us about that please?
Iíll make it very brief, I was robbed, I was robbed at Swartklip Road from five chaps and I went to report that at the police station - that I was robbed from my money and the battery of my vehicle and a generator. And for insurance purposes I had to go and do that. But then afterwards the police - the police and came and pick me up, CIDís came and pick me up and they took me to Bishop Lavis police stasie police station.
When we got there, they showed me photoís. They told me, these are the people that have robbed you, I told them no but these people doesnít look like those people that have robbed me. And even if it was those people that have robbed me, I donít think you can shoot up people like that, as you people have shot up this poor people. They say - you must look properly, see if it was those people. I said - no - this - these are not those people. They said - look properly, donít you know one of them?
I looked again, I saw two which I know - not to say they have robbed me, but I knew, because I am a Guguletu dweller myself. I have been all the time in Guguletu myself. I know all the children there. Know more or less most of the children there who all came from Kensington and Windowmere and all those places, we knew each other. We knew sometimes the fatherís faces or the motherís faces - the children are resembling to those - to those faces and I am a drinker myself, I have been drinking a lot. And I am still drinking and - and we went to shebeens, we met these youngsters in the shebeens. It is not to say that they have been - they are the ones that robbed me.
They are trying to show me, it is those people that have robbed me. And I have told them that it is not those people that have robbed me. They asked me, I must look nicely, I must look properly because - I say I canít look nicely, these people are shot up.
They are shot up and there is full of - full of blood and they have been cut up and I donít know what cut them up like that. But the fact remains, they say - he told me, the two that was clear - I told them, well, these two - these two I recognized their face, but not to say I recognize them as those robbers that have been robbing me.
In that statement was - I went down - I came down Swartklip Road, near Rondom factory and I have been standing there - my vehicle went stuck and I have been standing there and five people came to my attention and they tried to get me out of the car, so I wouldnít get out of the bakkie.
When - when I wouldnít get out of the bakkie, the one draw a gun. Then the four - tell me, well if I donít want to get out of the bakkie, he will shoot me out of the bakkie. So, I got out of the bakkie.
They searched me and they took my money, they took my battery and they took my generator also and they said - this type of money you have got here is not enough, because we see you got a crate of - a chicken crate at the back. You were on your way to go and buy some chickens. So, you canít have this amount of money in your pocket, you should have more. So they say they would shoot me in the stomach or in the - in the knee.
I told them - no, I donít have anything else man. Then the other one wanted to shoot me. So, the other one says - no, donít shoot me - donít shoot me because - because the securities at the factory will hear them. So they didnít shoot me and they just took my battery and my car and I mean to say, my battery and the money I had and my generator and they pushed off.
And but I just need to understand how you were left out in the process, because your signature was used elsewhere and you never knew anything about this? Were you ever invited to attend the inquest in November 1986.
Rudi, I am going to read you an extract from a typed statement that is presumably signed by yourself. Itís got and has your name at the bottom and a signature and it is part of an exhibit Ö end of Tape 2, Side A Ö at an inquest in November 1986. And it is Exhibit G. It was presented as Exhibit G, just a part of it:
I am not making a mistake with their identification. I am sure that these are the people who had robbed me. The photograph number 05/6 is the person who wanted to shoot me in my stomach.
Now, what brought our Investigators attention to this is the fact that this signature looked a bit suspect, which is why they came to you and we are grateful that you could come and throw some light into - into all of this and try and help us understand how the police at the time created the evidence.
Can I get someone to show it to him please. I think it helps us understand the extend to which investigation of this kind of cases were stretched. That many times they didnít seem to be any limits to what can be said or done and this is assisting us. Can you speak into the microphone please.
I did - I did give the gentleman a sample. The other one, Mr Killian, hey I gave him a sample of my signature, without signing, I have him an old signature of mine also, a sample and he got it. I think it might be there by those papers.
Now I want to hand you an album of photographs. And ask you to have a look at that. Perhaps you can start specifically, because that is referred to in that statement of yours. DR705/86 there is photograph 68 and 69 - those are the last two photographs in the album that I want you to have a look at first and see whether you identify the person on those two photographs. And once you have done that, I want you to go to number 40. Start with number 40 and then look through the rest and see if you identify any of those persons.
The photoís which theyíve showed me was very small photoís. It was not as big as this. It was very small photoís and it was not photoís that was with the heads alone. It was photoís with the complete bodies.
To tell you the honest truth lady, I canít actually explain how do I feel. I feel astonished because I never knew I was used like this. I could have lost my life through it also. I never knew I was used like this, without my knowledge, I never knew I was used like this. I feel really, really - it is like something, something that - which I - I just came out of an accident - a big accident, because to see how badly my life was jeopardized to the sake of this.
We just want to say thank you very much. Thank you for having been willing to come forward and one gets very deeply distressed. I mean, to find that it seems as if something you had faith, because you see, in those old days they would say - well this thing has gone to court and the Court has found and then most people.
Certainly most white people would say - justice has prevailed and now we realize, I mean, that often - and often this justice was subverted in this kind of way. And it very distressing, because it meant that with the heart of our community, of our society - the heart of it was a lie.